With Essendon’s Conor McKenna playing in a game of Gaelic Football when home in Ireland recently, the spotlight has turned to the question of whether or not Irish footballers playing with AFL clubs in Australia be allowed to play for their local clubs/leagues in Gaelic Football matches when they return home, usually in off-seasons.
When reading the media stories and associated fan comments, there is something of a polarisation in opinion. One camp is firmly in the “too big a risk of injury”, and therefore cannot be allowed. The other camp sits largely along the lines of a trip to Ireland is a player’s private time and they are entitled to risk injury.
The clear third option is that the issue isn’t risk of injury, it is the fact that a simple enquiry to their club to advise or discuss the matter may have made a big difference.
Sometimes clubs die. That is an inevitability, just like businesses closing their doors. Economics, geography, changing populations, competition and even climate can conspire to cause clubs to gradually fade away until a humane solution is proposed. Put them down. Occasionally the decision is more dramatic, but more often than not, it is a slow death.
Sometimes clubs call their own end. Other times, the pressure comes from leagues, business connections or other powers calling shots. However, it doesn’t really matter where the call comes from. Once the club is finished, a hole is left behind.
On occasions, communities find ways to fill that hole and move on. Often, however, that hole cannot adequately be plugged and the communities that surround that club suffer.
For the past few years we have been looking at the player of an international background who has polled the most Brownlow Medal votes and awarding them the “title” of winning the International Brownlow. This year, Richmond’s Mabior Chol and Western Bulldog Jason Johannisen polled a vote each to take the “award”.
Last year, Johannisen tied with Sydney’s Aliir Aliir and Collingwood’s Mason Cox. Previous “winners” have included Jim Stynes, Tadgh Kennelly and Pearce Hanley.
Chol, a refugee from Sudan as a child and now at Richmond, polled his vote in the Round 15 clash against St Kilda. That day he enjoyed 16 possessions – 13 kicks and 3 handballs – as well as 7 hitouts. But, most telling were his three goals which helped his Tigers to a 33-point win over the Saints. His 2 tackles and 8 contested possessions made it a breakout game for Chol and was recognised by the umpires.
A recently released film clip of a 1947 fund-raising women's football match has been released by the AFL and Samsung. The clip brings to vivid life a match which, in many ways, acts as a vanguard for women's football. Whilst the game has been played by women since the origins of the game, this brilliantly restored clip shows women playing the game at an advanced level long before many believed was so.
World Footy News specialises in reporting on the game internationally and in less publicised areas. However, this special moment must be universal. At the end of yesterday's clash between Carlton and Adelaide at the MCG, boundary umpire Dillon Tee proposed to field umpire Eleni Glouftsis. If you thought that Dillon's proposal was a good umpiring call, Elini's answer "yes" was just as good.
A heartwarming footy story, played out in front of almost 40,000 fans at the home of Australian Rules football.
Like many others last week, I watched the documentary film “The Final Quarter” which looked in detail via media accounts at the treatment of former Sydney Swans’ player Adam Goodes. The response to the documentary – through media and football (and many non-football) public has been described by some as polarising.
In truth, it appears that the overwhelming majority of watchers were upset and dismayed at what occurred during Goodes’ final playing years (demonising, booing, racist remarks and actions), yet a small minority still wish to lay the blame squarely at Goodes’ own feet.
To detail events, and the show itself, would be too large an article. It is best for schools, clubs or workplaces to contact the film makers directly to access a copy (https://thefinalquarterfilm.com.au/ ) or keep an eye out on Foxtel for repeats of the show.
Earlier this year World Footy News released a story looking at how the northern city would cope, in a footy sense, having lost their annual AFL match which they had held since 2011. Over that time, eight matches were played at Cazalys Stadium featuring the Gold Coast Suns, Richmond, Western Bulldogs and most recently North Melbourne.
This was in addition to a VFL match between the Suns and Bendigo Bombers in 2010 and pre-season cup matches stretching back to the turn of the century.
Our story featured interviews with past players from VFL/AFL days who either played, coached or officiated in Cairns – former Blue and Bulldog, Max O’Halloran, Collingwood great Ronnie Wearmouth, recent Essendon player Courtenay Dempsey and current Suns’ star Jack Bowes. (See Cairns Footy Still A Shining Light)
Each year football’s highest authorities make changes to rules. This is nothing new, nor is it sinister. Whether it is for safety, aesthetics of the game, improve speed of the game, selling a wholesome package to parents of kids, keeping sponsors happy or…God Forbid!...just plain common sense, rules will always be reviewed and changed.
This is NOT the fault of umpires – though they take most of the heat for doubtful decisions. This is an issue of rules and always has been. It just appears that the levels of frustration amongst fans is now higher than previous years.
But that doesn’t help the purists on the couch, at the game or even on the field when some changes just make no practical sense. To that end, here are some of my most contentious rule changes, either because I don’t personally agree, they are frustrating for spectators or they are simply useless.